BLOG A BOOK: WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?
Do you believe in God, or do you believe God?
The answer to that question changed Abraham’s life. It changed my life. The answer has life changing potential for all who will hear.
Genesis 15:6 tells us that Abraham believed in God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. In the New Testament we read, “…Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness” (Galatians 3:6 KJV). What did Abraham believe? The Gospel. God wants us to know that it was the Gospel that was preached to Abraham (Galatians 3:8).
What Gospel? The same Gospel preached to us. Abraham, an Old Covenant (Old Testament) saint looked forward to the cross, we look back to Jesus’s finished work on the cross. Abraham not only believed in God, he also believed what God said. that opened the door for God’s Blessing in his life.
When we believe the gospel message in our hearts and confess it with our mouths (Romans 10:9-10), it’s accounted to us for righteousness. For New Testament believers, that’s the moment our spirits are born again. That’s our ticket to Heaven. God sends no one to Hell. He makes an offer that He desires no one would refuse: take Me at my Word.
God forces no one to believe. He never forces Jesus on anyone. He doesn’t force Heaven on anyone either. Each individual makes the free will choice to believe what God says and receive Jesus, or not.
God said that the wages for sin is death (Romans 6:23). God not only set the cost, He also came in the form of His Son Jesus, and paid that penalty so we didn’t have to.
When we choose to believe that Jesus paid sin’s penalty for us and that He died the deaths and that God raised Him from the grave, we are saved from that death penalty. At that time, we secure our future home in Heaven. We also receive the salvation and measure of faith (Romans 12:3) we need to navigate life while we’re still on the earth.
Believing is what gave Abraham a new life. He first believed in God, then he believed what God had to say (Romans 4:3). Two very different things.
God had a plan for Abraham and his wife Sarah. For that plan to come to pass, they had to learn how to cooperate with God. God has a plan for each one of us. Whosoever will learn to cooperate with God, will bring God’s plan into their reality.
God needed Abraham and Sarah to cooperate with Him. He had to change their mindset and the opinion they had of themselves. God accomplished that shift in their thinking by changing their names.
God changed Sarai’s name to Sarah, which means princess. At eighty years old, Sarah was beyond having children. In those days, the inability to have children was considered shameful. It’s possible Sarah considered herself a failure as she spent her childbearing years in defeat, feeling inferior to other women. Although beautiful, odds are she had a poor self-image.
When God made covenant with Abram, He changed Abram’s name to Abraham. Genesis 17:4 records that God said, for a father of many nations have I made thee. God deliberately used the past tense: have I made. God didn’t say, I plan to make you. He said that He’d already made him to be. All Abraham had to do was chose to get on board with what God said and His plan. He could have said no. Had Abraham refused to cooperate with God, being the father of many nations wouldn’t have come to pass. God would have had to find another man who would believe Him.
God’s Mode of Operation
Romans 4:17 gives us a biblical principle of how God operates. “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were” (KJV). The emphasis is mine, but the principle is God’s.
God uses words to call what He wants into existence. The first chapter of Genesis is full of evidence of this principle. God spoke words to call the world into existence. The Bible is loaded with evidence of how God operates.
Abraham and Sarah had to make a choice.
Proverbs 18:21 tells us that both life and death are in the power of our tongues, or our words. Ephesians 6:17 says that the spoken Word is a spiritual weapon.
Abraham and Sarah made a good decision and chose life. They agreed with God and began using their words to change the image they had of themselves. Using God’s method of calling those things that be not as thou they already were, they changed their lives and their future.
History records that Abraham and Sarah received the child of promise, Issac. Abraham is called the father of our faith (Galatians 3:6-9). Hebrews 11:11 says that Sarah, herself, had to receive the strength to conceive a child even though she was beyond child conceiving years. the way they did this was by believing what God said and doing what God said.
Getting there was an interesting journey for Abraham and Sarah, but they did get to the place where God could bring His plan into existence. If they had chosen not to follow God’s way of doing things, they wouldn’t have received God’s promises. God still would have loved them, but He couldn’t have given them the best He had for them.
Every time Abraham called himself the father of many, I bet people laughed. Maybe not to his face—God had already made him the richest man around. Abraham learned that by calling himself what God called him, he changed his situation and the circumstances of his life. Our words often determine the result when we’re engaged in spiritual warfare.
An important spiritual principle is that it was Abraham who had to speak the plan into existence, God just taught him how. As a loving Father, God gave Abraham spiritual guidance. God is so good. He instructs us in how to operate in faith as well.
God’s Words contain the power to change the negative situations in our lives like they did Abraham’s. The Bible is God’s written Word to us today. Romans 4:21 states that Abraham was fully persuaded that what God promised, God was fully able to perform. That’s faith. Abraham believed.
Both Abraham and Sarah tapped into life through their words which gave them the ability to see themselves as God saw them. Yes, they believed in God, but until they saw themselves as God saw them, and started calling things into existence, they were unable to receive the promises of God. They received the promises by changing their mindset and the words of their mouth. They changed the image they held of themselves by changing the words they spoke about themselves. They did what Romans 12:2 calls renewing their mind.
We’ll begin with the spiritual principle of renewing the mind in chapter two of What Do You Believe. God is all about our spirituality.
Stay connected by registering to receive my first blog a book series: What Do You Believe?